Biography of Hon. Thomas Mabrey

HON. THOMAS MABREY. The parents of this influential citizen, Frederick and Nancy (Mabrey) Mabrey, were natives of North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively. The father went to Williamson County, Tennessee, when a young man, married there, and in 1838 came to Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, where he was among the early settlers. All his life he had followed agricultural pursuits and was reasonably successful for that day and time. He died near Jackson, Cape Girardeau County, in 1848, when about seventy years of age. The mother died in 1837, when a comparatively young woman. Born to their marriage were nine children, of whom our subject, the eighth child, is the only one now living.

He was born in Williamson County, Tennessee, June 2, 1835, and was educated in the common schools of Cape Girardeau County and in Jackson Academy, and later branched out as an educator, teaching for eighteen months in Jackson Academy. His object was to get a collegiate education, but the war broke out and he threw aside his books to enlist in Gen. Jeff. Thompson’s regiment, in July, 1861, in the six months’ Missouri State service. He held the rank of lieutenant, but subsequently entered Col. White’s regiment, C. S., with which he remained until the cessation of hostilities. He was first lieutenant of Company K, and was on detached duty for the most part, recruiting soldiers. He was in a number of prominent engagements but was never wounded nor taken prisoner. Previous to the war he had read law under Greer W. Davis, of Jackson, Missouri, and had been admitted to the bar in 1859. After the war ended he again settled in Doniphan, Missouri, but owing to the adoption of what was known as the Drake constitution he could not practice his profession in Missouri, so he went to the State of Texas, and after traveling over several counties, settled down at Sherman, in Grayson County. But here the same fate overtook him. Under the reconstruction acts of Congress, a test oath, to practice law, was required, so he then returned to Missouri, settled in Ripley County, and here he has had a large practice since the amendment of the Drake constitution. In the year 1868 he was elected prosecuting attorney, held the office four years in Ripley County and four years in Carter County, too, as that county had no attorney of experience. In 1878 he was elected to represent Ripley County in the Lower House of the Legislature, and still later he was elected State senator. He was chairman of the committee of accounts, served on the judiciary committee, emigration, etc., and later was a candidate for Congress, but being unacquainted with wire-pulling, did not get the office. In 1870 Mr. Mabrey was happily married to Miss Sallie J. Carter, daughter of Zimri A. Carter, a pioneer of Carter County, after whom the county was named. She is also a sister of Judge William Carter, of St. Francois County. To Mr. and Mrs. Mabrey have been born twelve children, nine of whom, two sons and seven daughters, are still living. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and he is a Democrat in politics.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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